“You are wrong, Taevas. It is not me that you have wronged, though I bear her face.”
The oracle also seemed to have mind-reading powers, or she had simply gleaned on the obvious from the shocked expression Duke Taevas was wearing. Her face was revealed to everyone in the room, and they did not expect her to have such face at all.
From her posture holding the owl cane, they thought she must have been an elderly woman nearing death. Her voice was aged and raspy as well. But now that her cloak had fallen, her disguise had also faded away and they were now seeing a beautiful young lady…..
So beautiful that she could only be a goddess with such beauty like that.
But even with her beauty, Duke Taevas Zafeiri regained his composure and drew his sword again from thin air!
It was a double-edged longsword that was about 45 inches long, even longer than most longsword in the real world. The blade shone a bright cerulean, and the hilt latches itself onto Duke Taevas’ hand perfectly, making it virtually impossible to knock the sword off him. It emanates a strange aura that normal swords don’t have as well, similar to that of a wolf baring its fangs.
“Who are you?” He hissed with much hostility, prepared to drive the blade across the woman’s thin and pretty throat any second. “What do you want from my family!?”.
“I seek no harm to you and your family.” The beautiful oracle said. “But you have harmed mine, and I could not let that pass unsettled.”
“Your family…. Who is your family?” Asked Duchess Akasa, though she already have a hunch on who it was.
(Hah! I bet it was that woman that he slept with. I knew that he will get bitten back by seeing a witch such as her, yet why does she have to curse my baby!?)
The oracle turned to her. “No, it was not she who has put a curse on the child. The divine beings of this world had convened and decided his fate as a repercussion for your husband’s actions. Eleina is not powerful enough to change the course of fate itself, she was merely a priestess of my temple.”
Upon hearing the word ‘priestess’ and ‘temple’, the butler Mavretri and the three maids quickly kneeled down and bowed their heads. “Goddess Bezirze!”
They had recognized who she was. She was the Goddess of Priestesses and Fellowship of Women, of Flowers and Fruits. The minor deity from Elementi, Bezirze, daughter of the God of Summer and the Goddess of Winter.
Duke Taevas further perspired when he heard that this person was indeed a goddess. But then again, his pride would not allow him to let go of the sword. 𝚒n𝚗r𝗲𝒂𝗱. c𝑜𝓶
So what? He was a Celestian, the population blessed by the gods and chosen to rule over these peasants and commoners! He was even able to attend a banquet by the Highest Order themselves!
The Highest Order, from what Ronin can gauge from his father’s memory, was the chosen highest gods ruling over Magecia. There were currently twelve of them, yet it was not a permanent position. The deities are continuously vying for fellowship so they can rise in power and gain a seat in the Highest Order.
Unlike Magecian humans, Magecian deities do not only rely on Affiliation and Mage Focus/Type, but also have the strange ability to harness faith and belief into their strength.
This strange capability had existed since the earliest records itself, but none of the humans were able to understand how exactly it works… and how to become a deity themself.
It was like the rising and setting of the sun, like the flow of rivers. It was a natural way of life.
Despite being faced with an entity that he could never match in terms of power, Duke Taevas’ arrogance knows no bounds. He threatened Bezirze with a frightening scowl.
“Take away this curse or suffer under my sword.”
Bezirze merely smiled at him, tilting her head. “Taevas, your patron as a Hero Mage is Vesuvius, is it not? The God of War, Violence, and Destruction. One of the current Highest Order gods. No wonder you are so hot-blooded. I hope it would not dishearten you, however…..”
“That he was included in those who signed the agreement to curse your child.”
Duke Taevas eyes became as wide as two moons, and he immediately slashed at the goddess in anger. “You liar! You lying, deceiving witch goddess! I bet you are not even the deity Bezirze but merely an imposter!”
Yet as he slashed forward, the goddess simply disappeared into a wisp of smoke and reappeared by Ronin’s crib….. and was now holding Ronin himself!
The goddess was thoroughly amused by the child’s unnaturally calm behavior. “I do not remember the gods agreeing to take your emotions as well, child.”
The child did not answer at all while being held close to her soft, ample bosom.
“Do not take him away! Please, goddess! I apologize for my husband’s actions! Just please don’t take my child away!”
Duchess Akasa scrambled over her feet and bowed to her as well, pleading again and again with a bunch of tearful ‘Please’.
Bezirze’s gaze softened toward her. “Look at how much your wife cares for your son and this family. I can tell that she may be a woman with a sharp tongue, but she truly yearns for a peaceful home. Yet you chose to not only betray her, but her efforts for that home as well. Do you not feel any remorse, Taevas?”
Duke Taevas’ ego was deeply shattered by these words and his rash actions of attacking a goddess. He eventually fell down to his knees, defeated, and reluctantly asked in a hoarse voice:
“What…. do you want me to do to release the curse?”
“I cannot do anything, Taevas. It was a decision of fate, it could not be changed.” Bezirze swayed the young Ronin lightly from side to side.
The whole room went quiet and everyone was filled with dread besides the goddess and the cursed child in her arms.
She was the one who caused the silence, and she was the one to break it as well.
“There is still something you could do. Allow Eleina to raise him in my temple, and all the troubles that he may face from being born this way would not happen. The sisterhood will turn him into a man with much dignity and integrity, unlike the seed he was birthed from.”
The duke and duchess were aghast. She wants to take their child to a sisterhood of witches living in a temple in the woods!
Yet…. her words felt believable. The goddess Bezirze had no reason to lie after all. She spoke with much compassion for the child, but firmness in her tone as well.
“Let us take him, and his ill fate shall be avoided.”
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